Last week’s episode of Supergirl was so dreadfully boring that I asked Chris to review it. Who wants to spend an entire episode with teenage Kara and Alex when we could be watching Samantha’s badass transformation into world-killing supervillainess unfold?
Wake Up juggles a number of different storylines to varying degrees of success. As Samantha Aries, Odette Annable continues to shine as the season’s MVP. The show’s been slowly laying out the bits to her eventual transformation (weird visions, superstrength, and that pesky bullet), so I’m pleased to report that Wake Up generates a lot of narrative momentum. The episode not only introduces us to Sam’s adoptive mother Patricia (who kicked out her daughter when she got pregnant), but also brings her into full contact with her sinister destiny. By gradually building up to this moment and showcasing all of Sam’s positive attributes, the show got us completely invested in “Reign’s” plight. It definitely feels tragic to see her have to come to terms with her true identity, and I have no doubt that the rest of the season is going to be equally engrossing.
Then there’s the Mon-El element. I know a huge part of the Supergirl fandom absolutely loathed the character last season, but I thought he was a terrific addition. I greatly enjoyed his chemistry with Kara (it helps that Benoist and Wood are together in real life), and was disappointed to see him gone this year. Sadly his return is kind of tedious, with the show stretching out his motives until the very end when it’s revealed he’s from the future and his wife Emra is on the ship. Can we please not have a cliché love triangle? Look no further than this season of Grey’s Anatomy to see how to maturely handle one!
Thankfully, the evolution of the father-son bond between J’onn and Myr’nn gets a lot of screen-time. Whether he’s discovering the joys of “brown water” or asking for permission to go to he bathroom, Carl Lumbly manages to make the most ridiculous dialogue sound supremely endearing. He’s THAT good, and I love that he and his son will be moving in together. Please show, keep Lumbly on forever.
– So Sam put her hand in boiling water, but I was preoccupied trying to figure out what she was cooking. Pasta?
– It’s a small moment but notice how people check out Supergirl casually walking down the street.
– I agree with Winn – I wish J’onn had let Kara do Clarke’s spin thing.
– The best acting moment of the episode: Sam’s gut-wrenching speech to Patricia about the gunshot. Wow!
– How refreshing is Sam’s joy at becoming an alien? That’s what makes the eventual reveal of villain status all the more devastating.
– So Mon-El was gone for SEVEN years. That definitely reminded me of Interstellar.
– Notice how much Melissa expresses with just a glance when Mon-El kisses Emra and introduces her as his wife. It’s heartbreaking.
– Kara has a Fortress of Solitude. Sam has a Fortress of Sanctuary.
– Seriously how thrilling was that final sequence? I got goosebumps when Sam stood up after all that pain with demon-red eyes and that prophetic line. Supergirl vs Reign can’t come soon enough. Also, how will Lena Luthor react to this?
Sam: I’m like Supergirl.
Priestess: You are so much more than that.
Sam: Who am I?
Priestess: You are a culmination of centuries of work, a being designed for one purpose: to execute justice.
Sam: I’m a hero?
Priestess: They will not call you a hero. They will call you Worldkiller. They will try to contain your power, but they will fail. You will show no mercy to those who oppose you. Your justice will burn the world of man.
Priestess: You will soon forget all mortal trappings.
Sam: No. This can’t be right.
Priestess: It is time for you to emerge. It is time for you to become Reign.
(Sam screams in pain before rising with red eyes)
Sam: (in Kryptonian) I have awoken.
After last week’s misfire, Wake Up is a solid outing that capably sets the stage for a hopefully thrilling season.